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Jones: Mentally, I'd back Webber over Vettel every time

If it comes down to a mental duel between Red Bull Racing team-mates Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel for the F1 2010 crown, Alan Jones reckons his countryman is in pole position - and poised to see off all comers
Australia's last F1 World Champion Alan Jones has given Mark Webber a timely vote of confidence as the 2010 campaign speeds towards what looks set to be a thrilling dénouement, contending that the current world championship leader has the mental strength necessary to overcome his four chief rivals and clinch the coveted crown.

With five races now left on the schedule – beginning with the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix this weekend – and a mere 24 points blanketing the title-chasing quintet, the situation has rarely been so tense.

In some senses, Webber is up against it, with three of his adversaries – all-British McLaren-Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso – having lifted the ultimate laurels before and therefore being in possession of vital experience of a title showdown, and a well-documented fractious relationship with his own Red Bull Racing team-mate Sebastian Vettel [see separate story – click here].

However, should it come down to mind games between the RBR pairing, then 1980 world champion Jones knows who his money would be on – and he argues that provided his countryman is capable of keeping his cool and focussing purely on his own performance, he can see off his other three challengers to-boot.

“I think if it gets down to a bit of a head-game, I'll back Mark every time,” the 63-year-old told the Australian Associated Press. “Mark's come up the hard way, he's been through some uncompetitive teams, he's had a few bits and pieces thrown at him where Vettel hasn't – and if gets down to mind games, I think Mark's much better to deal with it than Vettel is.

“I think the main thing is not to think about it (the championship) too much, not to dwell on it, not to put undue pressure on himself. He's just got to take each race as it comes along, and if he continues to do exactly what he's been doing, he won't have a problem. It's a fascinating championship. We haven't had a championship like this for years, where five people could become world champion with five races to go.”

One distinct positive for the New South Wales native, Jones adds, is the fact that the 34-year-old is still ensconced atop the points standings somewhat against-the-odds, given that the two most recent outings at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza were tipped as golden opportunities for McLaren and Ferrari to gain ground and make hay whilst Red Bull struggled. With the remaining venues conversely all expected to play to the strengths of the Adrian Newey-designed RB6, the former Williams star reckons Webber's confidence should be sky-high.

“I think they're very good,” he mused of his compatriot's prospects of victory in Singapore, a race the man from Queanbeyan has yet to finish in two previous starts. “His car is going to suit the circuit; in fact, I think his car is going to suit most of the circuits that they're going to. I think he'll obviously know he's going to circuits now that will suit his car and that won't disappoint him, that's for sure.”

Related Pictures

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Alan Jones (AUS)
The Nitro Super GP was Launched on the Gold Coast at Southport Surf Life Saving Club with Dancers and parachustists to enthrall the crowd. Former f1 World Champion and seat holder for Team Australia, Alan Jones
Saturday Practice, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Friday Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 ans Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing , Technical Operations Director
Saturday Practice, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Thursday, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Thursday, Press conference, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 and Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Qualifying, Press conference, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 pole position and Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Race, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6 race winner and Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 2nd position
The Podium: 1st Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6, 2nd Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10, 3rd Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6
30.04.2017 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 at drivers parade
30.04.2017 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 at drivers parade
30.04.2017 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H at drivers parade
30.04.2017 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010 and Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17
30.04.2017 - Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17
30.04.2017 - Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
30.04.2017 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
30.04.2017 - Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40

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SPF1 - Unregistered

September 21, 2010 1:37 PM

I am from the planet Spong, so am completely unbiased when it comes to the activities of you earthlings. It is natural for one countryman to support his fellow, but Jones is not someone given to BS just to talk-up a fellow OZ - more likely, if he had nothing positive to say, he'd "hold his water". Seems that most of the biased comments come from the various supporters of the drivers in question on these comment strings, who are either unable or unwilling to acknowledge the abilities of drivers other than their chosen one. Watching, with interest, from across the galaxy, I am just looking forward to the remaining races, but I have to admit I will not be too surprised if there are more instances of impetuosity from Vettel when the pressure ramps up even more... Live long and prosper (stolen by Star Trek)

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